We are a family that loves holidays. When Chad and I got married, I warned him that I will, someday, become that woman who decorates her whole house for each and every one. With Nate’s arrival, my ability to decorate has been slowed down somewhat. (Our St. Patrick’s Day wreath is still hanging….and Easter has passed.) But what we lack in decorations, we make up for in holiday-related treats for Nate and his cousins and friends.
These are Nate’s friends Hannah and Zoe. Hannah (on the left) is mom to Cubby, who is Hobbes’ cousin. Small world, eh?
For the smaller holidays (Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween), we try to send a card with a treat, like stickers for the little ones and money for the older ones, to our nephews, grand-nieces and nephews (we have four with a fifth one on the way!), and the kids of our dearest family friends. Between potty training and weather-related disasters, we totally missed Valentine’s Day this year. To make up for it, we sent the kids treat bags filled with large Easter eggs that could be decorated foam stickers so they could make a masterpiece like this!
If we’re sending cards, then I make sure to send one to each kid even if they live in the same household because I think it’s a pretty special to find something with your name on it in the mailbox. In this case, because the gifts were all bagged up, I combined them in padded envelopes per household. The kids have been receiving them all week and so far the gifties are a hit!
For Nate, we chat with the holiday spokesperson and tell him (interesting that it’s always a “him,” isn’t it?) about certain things that we know Nate will love and are supporting his current goals. This year, gifts from the Easter Bunny couldn’t fit in one basket this year so he delivered two – plus Nate got a basket of sweets from his Auntie Anne and Uncle Kent! And to make sure Nate knew they were for him, we used the name card that Ms. Susie created for our family.
Each basket had an anchor item with lots of fun things to supplement it. Big gifts included the brand-new movie Curious George Swings into Spring, which Nate watched two times in a row in glee, and Lakeshore Learning’s Feed the Bunny fine motor skills game, which Nate is obsessed with at school.
Nate also enjoys the line of Peek-a-Boo apps from Night & Day Studios on his iPad. He loves Peek-a-Boo Barn, Peek-a-Boo Fridge, and Peek-a-Boo People, which uses characters from Richard Scarry’s books to teach professions. Prior to playing Peek-a-Boo People, Nate paid no attention to Richard Scarry’s books, which were my very favorite as a kid. But after playing it, he started to really study each page in the books we have. So the Bunny also picked up the Best Counting Book Ever and the ABC Word Book.
Of course, there’s sidewalk chalk (in egg shapes!) for outdoor springtime activities, too. The Bunny, Ms. Susie, and I also had a conference about tasty holiday treats for Easter. Since Nate’s potty training reward is a Hershey’s Kiss, Nate doesn’t get chocolate unless he went potty. We didn’t want to mess up Nate’s progress so the Bunny and I asked Ms. Susie if it was ok for Nate to have a chocolate treat or two for the holiday. Ms. Susie felt if the chocolate did not look like a Hershey’s Kiss, it would be appropriate for the special day. Well, the Bunny found Grand Slam Bunny, which he had to buy since Nate dreams of being a baseball player. But the Bunny also found Carrot Patch Pete — how could he not add that to the basket in honor of our family’s newest member!?!
And speaking of Pete, it’s his first Easter in his fur-ever home so the Bunny couldn’t forget him. A giant jar of catnip and some new toys, including Smacky the Squirrel, a favorite of our late JD and Archibald, filled his basket!
In true fashion, it took Nate a really long time to warm up to the whole affair. While most kids would tear into the baskets, it took my sweet boy about two hours to even look at the stuff. He instantly wanted the Feed the Bunny game, which was familiar, and we had to put the Curious George movie in the DVD player for him to get the picture (ha!). But the rest was too new to be immediately comfortable with. And the funniest thing? For all of my fretting about if the chocolate treats would mess up Nate’s potty training success, Nate never realized they are chocolate. The bunnies? Totally missed it and they haven’t been tasted. The chocolate coins? Nate thought they were great fun to line up on the windowsill and take for a rolling ride. However, Nate did figure out that the Lindt carrots were actually hazelnut chocolate and he did enjoy two (kindly asking permission before each one)!
We also colored Easter eggs for the first time, which Nate loved. After dyeing eleven eggs, Nate didn’t want to end the activity so we also dyed some pasta for Nate’s pasta box. (Total Pinterest win!)
We hope your spring is as sweet as ours!